Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Nov

20

1943

The U.S. Marines begin their assault on ‘Bloody Tarawa’

Marines take cover behind a sea wall on Red Beach #3, Tarawa.   November 1943.  (Marine Corps)

Also, from some point I couldn’t see, a mortar was dropping bursts ahead of us and slightly to our right. I saw no Marines on the beach, only blasted boats where they had stopped. Two of them were on fire. Beyond, a stout coconut-log barricade ran like a fence parallel to the whole shore. Then I got down as low as I could, with only my helmet showing, and began to crawl and duck-walk through the water, which was hardly three feet deep, even though we were almost a half mile out. I was heading for the right-hand flank, but just why, I couldn’t say myself… .